Meet the island's most experienced mountain professionals.
Jan's guiding and teaching career has spanned more than 30 years and about as many mountain ranges. Much of this time he has spent working and living in the Himalaya guiding climbing and trekking in Nepal (he speaks fluent Nepali) and running a helicopter skiing operation in India. Jan has climbed and skied in BC's Coast Range, the Rockies, the interior ranges, all over the mountainous west of the USA, Europe, Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, the Himalayas and of course, in Vancouver Island's mountains. For a number of years now, Jan has called the Island home. Jan says the unique beauty of these mountains has captured his heart and he looks forward to sharing these most special places with you. Jan brings his vast experience and dedicated professionalism plus a sense of fun to his work as a guide and managing director of Island Alpine Guides as well as manager of operations for Pantheon Helicopter Skiing and as a founder and forecaster with the Vancouver Island Avalanche Bulletin.
Ken has 30 years of experience as a mountain guide and experiential educator for organizations including Yamnuska Mountain School, Outward Bound Canada, and Outward Bound USA. He has also instructed at the University of Calgary and as a faculty member at Mount Royal College (University) and Thompson Rivers University in Outdoor Education and Adventure Tourism. Ken has a particular interest in how adventure activities can connect us to ourselves, others and nature. He shares this passion by offering "adventure life coaching" through his Vancouver Island based company Mountains For Growth. When not working outdoors Ken also inspires as a writer and speaker who shares lessons from his life which connect deeply with his readers and audiences. He recently published his first book "Buried".
Graeme’s love of the mountains and wilderness began at an early age camping with his family and exploring Western Canada and the Yukon. His own explorations continued across Western North America, South America, the UK and Africa. For sixteen years, Graeme worked with Outward Bound Canada, starting as an instructor and later as manager of their Western Canada operations. He also works with a Victoria area private school Outdoor Ed program, and fills the time between teaching and guiding with work as a carpenter. Graeme enjoys the combination of working and teaching in the mountains, coaching individuals towards the self reliance to do their own trips, or just making sure they have a great day out.
Jen is a professional climber, a former Canadian National Ice Climbing Team member and an ACMG/IFMGA mountain guide. Her background is varied; a teaching degree, cooking in a backcountry ski lodge, and being an air traffic controller are just some of the many things she has done in her career. Jen has participated in a number of climbing expeditions and climbing festivals. In 2007 she went to Pakistan and put up an all-women's first ascent in the Nangmah Valley. She's also participated in five first ascents of waterfall ice climbs in the remote Icefall Brooke region of the Canadian Rockies. Jen does a variety of work with Island Alpine Guides but we're especially excited to have her on board to lead our women's programs.
Joe is a Kootenay-raised ACMG Ski Guide who is now based out of Courtenay, BC. He has worked for many heli, snowcat and ski touring lodges across BC and the Rockies over the last 15 years. His favourite parts of guiding are the opportunity to facilitate unique experiences for his guests, and exploring new terrain (which he is doing right now in our lovely Island Alps). In a previous life Joe was a professional mountain bike athlete travelling the world with his bike, riding in far flung locales for photo shoots and competitions including the Red Bull Rampage, which he competed in three times. Joe has a business degree with a marketing communications focus and when not guiding he works in digital marketing, managing teams designing and developing websites.
A native of France, Christophe qualified as a Mountain Guide in that country in 1996. He has guided all over the European Alps as well as in Japan, Antarctica, Greenland, Alaska and Canada. Since moving to British Columbia Christophe has guided in the Coast Range and more recently moved here to Vancouver Island where he is discovering the unique beauty of our island mountains. Christophe brings an easy, confidence inspiring manner to his guiding. Christophe's connection to a long European guiding tradition is evident in his professionalism and his concern for the quality of his guests' experience. This plus his extensive background make him a great asset on our team.
Bill loves to ski and climb, and his passion for the mountains has been guiding his life from an early age. He is a professional avalanche forecaster at Mount Washington and the Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre, has a teaching degree and is an instructor with the Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training program at Strathcona Park Lodge. His love of the mountains and snow, a solid understanding of the avalanche game, and a well developed set of skills gained from decades of teaching make him an exceptional Avalanche Skills Training instructor.
Ryan is an experienced sledder, a professional avalanche forecaster at the Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre, and a school teacher, and he has been working as an avalanche instructor for snowmobilers and skiers since 2010. He has worked in conjunction with Avalanche Canada, the Canadian Avalanche Association, and other partners to bring much needed avalanche education to sledders in northern Alberta and northern British Columbia.